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Five Winchester Scouts earn highest rank of Eagle Scout

The Court of Honor on June 8 gave Scouts Adam Lubomirski, Leo Arrone, Will Burke, Tim Hamilton and Paul Galvin the rank of Eagle Scout. WINCHESTER NEWS STAFF PHOTO/JOAO-CAMERON HOPKINSON

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On a recent spring evening, families from Winchester and neighboring towns gathered at the First Congregational Church to celebrate the culmination of hard work and dedication, as five members of Boy Scout Troop 503 received the most prestigious rank a Scout can achieve — the designation of Eagle Scout.

Of the 25 scouts in the troop, several of whom hail from Arlington, five were given the honor: Adam Lubomirski, Leo Arrone, Will Burke, Tim Hamilton and Paul Galvin.

Standing by the stage at the front of the basement floor on June 8, looking over a room decorated with red, white, blue, and eagle symbols, the five boys were all smiles. After all, even amongst the more than 1 million Scouts across the nation, only 6% will earn the coveted distinction of Eagle Scout by the time they graduate high school.

Scouts take a moment at the Court of Honor to check out their surroundings. WINCHESTER NEWS STAFF PHOTO/JOAO-CAMERON HOPKINSON

Among those in the ranks of Eagle Scout are astronaut Neil Armstrong, former president Gerald Ford, director Steven Spielberg, and many other influential American figures throughout history.

The Eagle Scout distinction dates back all the way to 1911 when it was created to pay homage to the country’s sacred animal — the American Bald Eagle. Since then, more than 2.5 million Scouts have earned Eagle Scout rank, that number growing as Troop 503 contributes five more to the tally.

In receiving the distinction, Troop 503’s newest Eagle Scouts revealed their mentors who inspired them through their multi-year journey from Cub Scouts to Eagle Scouts. Heartwarmingly, several of the five named troop leader Paul Masi as their mentor, which put a huge smile on his face and was a touching moment.

The new Eagle Scouts were also joined by their parents, who were each presented with a special pin to commemorate their son’s achievement — one special pin for mom and the other for dad.

The Court of Honor included speeches, including Rep. Michael Day. WINCHESTER NEWS STAFF PHOTO/JOAO-CAMERON HOPKINSON

Involved process

A week before the ceremony, Masi talked about his more than 30 years of experience working with Troop 503, though he grew up as a member of Troop 39 in Middleborough.

“If you can put it on your resume, it’s a big deal,” Masi said, of becoming an Eagle Scout. “It’s a long and involved process.”

Masi talked a great deal about the final task Eagle Scouts must take on and complete, an extensive service project involving giving back to one’s community in some profound way.

“Scouts did kiosks in the woods, building a bridge in the Fells,” he said. “They did a great job on them.”

Of course, aside from the major service project standing as a final object between a Life Scout (the second-highest rank in Scouting) and Eagle, the Scouts serve the community all throughout their careers. Masi said Troop 503 helped to clean up after the En Ka Fair, a tradition they do every year.

Laughter was shared as Scouts listened to memories of their time in Troop 503. WINCHESTER NEWS STAFF PHOTO/JOAO-CAMERON HOPKINSON

Will Burke, one of the seniors who became an Eagle Scout, recounted the service project that took him over a year to complete.

Burke recounted his experiences planning his service project for months and months, working out every detail until it was time to get started working it. He said the hardest part of the project was, in fact, the planning phase.

Once Burke was out actually completing the task, working with his father who he expressed his gratitude for his immense help, getting the job done took far less time than expected.

Burke’s service project entailed working for the Recreation Department, where he built several raised stone garden beds and painted a shed. Additionally, he mulched several garden beds for the garden and constructed a stepping stone path.

Who said that?

During the ceremony, both the Scouts and Masi gave speeches detailing their experiences in Scouts and the culminating trials and tribulations that lay in the path to Eagle.

As is tradition in Troop 503, a practice instilled in every troop member from day one, a well-written speech must contain three quotes: one from Yogi Bear, one from Shakespeare, and one in Latin. If you’re wondering why Yogi Bear is thrown into the mix, it’s allegedly because it was one of Masi’s favorite boyhood shows.

One Latin quote especially resonated during the evening — the translated version reading “That is done fast enough, which is done well enough.” This quote was reportedly one of Roman Emperor Augustus’ favorite quotes.

Scouts Adam Lubomirski, Leo Arrone, Will Burke, Tim Hamilton and Paul Galvin are sworn in as Eagle Scouts. WINCHESTER NEWS STAFF PHOTO/JOAO-CAMERON HOPKINSON

Life Scout Teddy Kuszewski, a junior at Winchester High School who is good friends with several of the seniors who earned Eagle Scout status, plans on becoming an Eagle Scout next year.

Kuszewski, who will be giving a speech at his own Court of Honor next year, spoke a bit on this tradition in Troop 503.

“I gotta start planning my Yogi Bear quote,” he said. “That’s a Mr. Masi thing and it’s a long-running thing where every speech he’s given to the Scouts from my first Court of Honor. He has a quote from Yogi Bear, a quote from Shakespeare, and a Latin quote.”

In wrapping up the celebration, Rep. Michael Day gave a speech commending the boys on their diligence and speaking on the honor and responsibility to the community that comes with being an Eagle Scout.

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to reflect that former President Barack Obama did not reach the rank of Eagle Scout. Obama was, in fact, a Siaga (Cub Scout) in Gerakan Pramuka Indonesia, the national Scouting organization of the country.

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